Release date: 23 December 2020
Nearly 150 elderly and vulnerable people in Selsey will still get to enjoy a hot Christmas dinner thanks to the county council’s meals-on-wheels service, after their annual community lunch was cancelled due to coronavirus.
Each year the town holds a well-attended Community Christmas Day lunch in the Town Hall, but COVID restrictions mean the event can’t take place as normal this year.
However, the Selsey Community Forum has raised funds for the meals which will be supplied by meals-on-wheels provider Apetito and then delivered to people in their own homes by a team of 80 volunteer ‘Buddies’.
The Selsey Care Shop’s volunteer Buddy system was used during the first COVID lockdown to help reach out to those in need in multiple ways including shopping, prescription collections, dog walking, errands and meal deliveries to up to 65 people three times a week for 10 weeks. They have continued to be part of the town’s support network and extra volunteers have come forward to help deliver the Christmas Day lunches.
Councillor Amanda Jupp, West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults & Health, said: “After such a difficult year, I’m delighted that our meals-on-wheels team will be able to help and bring a little bit of cheer to those who would normally have been sitting down together in the Town Hall for Selsey’s Community Christmas lunch.
“I’m extremely proud of all our meals-on-wheels team, including all of those who will be out delivering meals to people across the county this Christmas.
“The service has been even more of a lifeline to many this year as it provides so much more than just a meal. It offers a friendly face and a quick welfare check for those who may not welcome any other visitors over the festive period.”
Selsey Community Forum Chairman, Mike Nicholls, said: “It has been important for us in Selsey that not only do we secure wholesome and nutritious meals for those we recommend a supplier to but, importantly, that provider also carries out a welfare check on some of our community who are elderly and sometimes vulnerable.
“In Apetito we found a company that can deliver this, and we are looking forward to working together on the big Christmas Lunch at Home programme.”
At Apetito, there will be 21 members of the meals-on-wheels staff working Christmas Day, with 16 vans delivering an estimated 350 meals across West Sussex. In addition, every customer will also receive a Christmas card and a slice of Christmas cake.
Meals can be booked with Apetito for short periods or longer term. Call 01903 718893 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.